13 Excuses That Will Ruin Your Diet and Tips To Avoid Them

How do you know you're making an excuse? Here are 13 examples with ways of shutting them down. Find out more and overcome diet disaster.

Wouldn't it be easy to stick to a healthy diet if you lived in a world with only grilled chicken breasts, broccoli and oatmeal? Unfortunately this just isn't realistic. You're going to encounter foods you shouldn't be eating from time to time, and be faced with a choice: give in to the craving or stick to your healthy lifestyle plan.

I counsel people who have issues with weight management and emotional eating, and one thing they all have in common is that they all make excuses to stop following their diets. The most important weapon against falling off of the diet-wagon is to anticipate sabotaging thoughts and responses to them.

The Most Important Weapon Against Falling Off Of The Diet-Wagon Is To Anticipate Sabotaging Thoughts And Responses To Them.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
The Most Important Weapon Against Falling Off Of The Diet-Wagon
Is To Anticipate Sabotaging Thoughts And Responses To Them.

But how do I know I'm making an excuse? There are three ways to point out an excuse:

  1. If your thought starts with, "I can eat this because ..." then it's an excuse
  2. If you didn't already plan to eat it today, it's an excuse.
  3. If the food is sugary, salty or full of refined carbs it's likely an excuse. Think about it...have you ever rationalized why you should be eating veggies or lean protein? Of course not.

After you've determined that you are making excuses, the second step is to overcome that excuse with a rational thought of why these excuses are destructive and will only make you feel worse in the long run.

The Excuses

1. It's 4:00 And I'm Tired. This Will Give Me A "Boost" To Get Through The Day.

If I get a boost at all, it will be because my blood sugar is skyrocketing which means it will plummet later, leaving me more tired and cranky than I am now. Some almonds (or another healthy, planned snack), however, will help me feel sharp and healthy for the rest of the day.

2. I've Been So Good Lately. I Should Reward Myself.

Actually, if I eat this it won't be a reward at all. It will only push my goal further away, and no doubt will make me feel depressed, weak and out of control. I'm going to choose to stay confident and in control of my diet and say no.

I'm Going To Choose To Stay Confident And In Control Of My Diet And Say No.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I'm Going To Choose To Stay Confident
And In Control Of My Diet And Say No.

3. Just One Won't Hurt.

I have to run X-miles to burn about 100 calories. This has X00-calories, which means I have to run X-miles, in addition to my already planned cardio today. Besides, I know if I have one, I'll have an even harder time saying no to number two and number three.

4. I'm Beat! I Can't Imagine Cooking Tonight, So I'll Just Go Through The Drive Through.

I may be tired, but I can figure some other easy way to feed myself. There are more calories in some fast food combo meals than my body needs all day! I can go to the salad bar in the health food grocery store, or buy the grilled chicken breasts they sell in the deli.

5. But There's Nothing Else To Eat Right Now, And I'm Hungry.

Being hungry won't kill me! It's better to feel uncomfortable and wait until I can eat something healthy than eat some junk food right now.

I'd rather drink a glass of cold water and wait until I can eat something healthy. Being temporarily uncomfortable won't kill me, but junk food will.

I'd Rather Drink A Glass Of Cold Water And Wait Until I Can Eat Something Healthy.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I'd Rather Drink A Glass Of Cold Water And
Wait Until I Can Eat Something Healthy.

6. My Boss Is A Jerk, Traffic Is Terrible, That Clerk Was Rude To Me, And I'm Just Having A Bad Day. Eating This Will Make Me Feel Better.

Wait a minute! If someone does something to make me angry or sad, why do I want to punish myself by eating unhealthy foods?

First of all, I won't let others dictate my emotions. Second, so I'm having a bad day, which I can't really control. What I can control, however, is what goes into my body.

Third, I'm recognizing that it an emotion that's making me want to eat right now, not hunger which should be the only reason for eating. So I'm going to give myself a boost and pat myself on the back for sticking to my plan and staying healthy.

7. I Just Got The Best News! I Think I'm Going To Celebrate With This Little Treat!

If I eat this, it won't help me enjoy this accomplishment at all. In fact, it'll impede another accomplishment I'm working toward.

This is just another case where an emotion is making me want to eat, which isn't acceptable. I can completely enjoy these good feelings I'm experiencing without food. And I look forward to reaching my weight loss goal, which is really something to celebrate!

8. I Paid For It, And I Don't Want To Waste Money.

How much money am I really losing by throwing this extra food out? It's really not that much. Will these extra dollars make or break me? Of course not. Besides, time is money, and it will take loads of extra time working out to burn this off later.

Ask Yourself, 'How Much Money Am I Really Losing By Throwing This Extra Food Out?'
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Ask Yourself, 'How Much Money Am I Really
Losing By Throwing This Extra Food Out?'

9. I Hate To Waste Food.

No starving child in another country will benefit from me eating this extra food. It didn't make sense while I was a kid, and it doesn't make sense now. Sure, I may be wasting food, but I'd rather throw it out than unnecessarily add fat to my body.

10. Everyone Else Is Eating It.

I'm committed to a healthy lifestyle, regardless of what others around me are doing. Besides, people who eat junk food who aren't overweight are still at risk for many serious health problems. I'm sticking to my commitment.

I'm Committed To A Healthy Lifestyle, Regardless Of What Others Around Me Are Doing.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
I'm Committed To A Healthy Lifestyle, Regardless
Of What Others Around Me Are Doing.

11. It's Free.

Being free may be a benefit, but is it good for me, and is it on my eating plan for the day? No. Eating free food now isn't going to save me any money later. All it will do is push my goals farther away from me.

12. I'll Start Back On My Diet Tomorrow.

While I can always get back to my diet after a slip, why waste it? There's no time like the present to work toward my goal of weight loss and healthy living. Besides, I know it won't be that easy to psychologically get over falling off track.

I'll feel guilty, depressed and weak, which will probably make me crave more bad food to feel better. I'm going to avoid the vicious cycle all together, and stick with my plan.

There's No Time Like The Present To Work Toward My Goal Of Weight Loss And Healthy Living.
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
There's No Time Like The Present To Work Toward
My Goal Of Weight Loss And Healthy Living.

13. I Don't Care.

I've been sticking to my diet for a while now, and I understand that I'm experiencing a drop in motivation, which is normal. I'm going to flex my "motivation muscle" now, which will make it easier to stay on track in the long run, by writing down my long term weight loss goals and why losing weight is important to me.

Besides, I do care! I care about my body, I care about my health and longevity, and I care about my psychological well-being. I'm sticking to my diet because I care about myself too much to quit now!

Conclusion

OK, you made it through! You recognized that you were making an excuse, and you stopped to think of why that excuse was only going to pull you off track and push your weight loss goal further away. It's crucial to revel in the feelings of confidence and control. Next time you make an excuse, remember this feeling of success, and compare it with how gross you would have felt had you given in to your excuse.

In sum, the next time the voices in your head are telling you to fall off of your diet plan and eat something you know you shouldn't, first recognize that it's an excuse, and then choose to shut it down. If you've invented excuses not listed here, write them down, then write down an anticipated response to them. Your body will thank you, I promise!

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